New Zealand Rare Breeds Website: – Information


(Domestic fowl)

The English language contains no single word that refers to the domestic cock and hen collectively and exclusively. However, the word “chooks” (from British dialect) is widely used in New Zealand and Australia to describe this poultry species (Gallus gallus domesticus), and is accordingly used on this website.

Click on the name below for details and photographs:

Chooks – Origin and Dispersal
New Hampshire
Plymouth Rock

The following breeds do not have page descriptions.

ANDALUSIAN: From Spain comes the blue Andalusian, a layer of large white eggs. The slate blue coloration, laced with black, occurs in about fifty percent of birds, the remainder being black or white.
 Breeders Directory 
AUSTRALORP: The ultimate utility chook, excellent for both meat and eggs. Always a rich green-black in colour, it was developed in Australia from Black Orpington stock.
 Breeders Directory  
FRIZZLE: A purely ornamental or exhibition chook, covered in a profusion of 'frizzled' feathers turning upwards and curling backwards towards the head.
 Breeders Directory  
Houdan HOUDAN: Probably the oldest French breed, it is characterised by its large crest, muffled face and glossy green-black colouring, mottled with white.
 Breeders Directory  
Indian Game INDIAN GAME: This massive Cornish bird was developed in Britain to produce abundant breast and thigh meat. It has been described as the 'macho' of the poultry world.
 Breeders Directory  
Japanese Bantams JAPANESE: The striking, extremely rare Japanese Bantam is purely ornamental, with very short legs and a remarkably long and erect tall rising well above head height. It has been developed by fanciers into a variety of colours.
 Breeders Directory
Croad Langshan LANGSHAN: There are two breeds of the Asian Langshan, the Croad and Chinese, developed along different lines from the original imports to Britain. Layers of brown eggs, both have feathered legs and are mostly black.
 Breeders Directory  
Black Minorca MINORCA: The black (occasionally blue or white) Minorca is the largest of the Mediterranean 'light' breeds, and famous for its extra-large white eggs. A proud and stately chook which does surprisingly well in confined surroundings.
 Breeders Directory  
MODERN GAME: These long-legged game chooks were produced by crossing the Old English breed with the Malay chook. Half-a-dozen colour varieties are recognized.
White Pekin PEKIN: The best known of the true bantams. Quiet, friendly, and easily handled it has great appeal with its round, dumpy outline and feathered feet. It has been developed into a wide range of colours.
 Breeders Directory  
POLISH: An unusual and very old breed with a spectacular head crest and virtually no comb. It is almost entirely a 'fancy' or show bird today. It is, however, an active breed which can do well in the farmyard.
 Breeders Directory  
Rhode Island Red RHODE ISLAND RED: One of the most popular breeds, the Rhode Island Red was developed in the USA. The colouring is always a rich dark red, and it is an active, fine-looking chook ~ a very good choice for all round utility.
 Breeders Directory  
Black Rosecomb ROSECOMB: Physical perfection in straight out proportion and balance is the salient characteristic of the British Rosecomb. Most popular in pure black with a brilliant green sheen, with face, comb and wattles of bright cherry red.
 Breeders Directory  
Silver and Golden Sebrights SEBRIGHT: The Sebright, another ornamental bantam, was produced in Britain about 1800; the cock bird is 'hen feathered,' that is, it has no neck hackles or tail sickles. It comes in gold and silver varieties, both black-laced.
 Breeders Directory  
SICILIAN BUTTERCUP: An extremely rare breed of chook of Continental origin. It features a cup-shaped comb and long wattles.
 Breeders Directory  
SUSSEX: An old British breed, a moderate layer, but primarily developed as a meat breed. The 'Light' Sussex is the popular colour, its pure white body set off with a black tail and black-striped neck hackles. A good all-round backyard chook.
 Breeders Directory  
WELSUMMER: The Dutch Welsummer is noteworthy as a producer of deep brown eggs. Most birds are of the standard brownish or 'partridge' colouring, but this can be variable, especially when they are rare, as in this country.
 Breeders Directory  
Golden Wyandotte WYANDOTTE: The popular Wyandotte combines usefulness with good looks. The striking gold and silver laced varieties are the best known, but the white is often regarded as the best all-rounder. There are also black, blue, buff, red, partridge, pencilled and Colombian colour variations.
 Breeders Directory  
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